Loussac Library, senior centers to benefit from proposition two

Published: Mar. 11, 2021 at 5:48 PM AKST
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Alaska offers plenty of history, some of which can be found at the Loussac Library. However, some of that history got lost during a 2017 flood when a water pipe broke.

What remained of the Alaska collection moved to the third floor — that created other problems.

“What we found is people didn’t know where the Alaska room was,” said Loussac Library Director Mary Jo Torgeson. “They didn’t know about the wealth of information. That is why we’re so excited about this.”

Torgeson hopes to open the doors soon to a new Alaska room. Of the over $1.1 million budgeted for proposition two, $500,000 will pay for the creation of the room and restoring other areas of the library.

“We don’t have any study rooms, or places where people can be just individually,” Torgeson said. “This particular room will help augment what we don’t have right now.”

Plus, passage of proposition two would secure a $390,000 federal challenge grant and $700,000 in private donations.

Storage is also an issue at the Anchorage Senior Activity Center. The vans are kept outdoors, as there’s nowhere else to keep them. Some of the $350,000 the center would receive from proposition two would go for a new garage; the rest is for safety improvements

“They include the installation of handrails and guards. Also repairs and replacement of windows,” said Rebecca Parker, the executive director of the Anchorage Senior Activity Center.

The Chugiak-Eagle River Senior Center could also get an upgrade. It would receive the remaining $300,000 from the measure. Most of the money would be used to renovate the apartments.

“A lot of them are really getting older. They’ve been used for 45 years,” said Phil Markwardt, executive director of the Chugiak-Eagle River Senior Center. “The countertops are getting old and well used, as well as the cabinets. So we want to change out some of that. Some of the flooring needs changed out so that we can get some of them more up to speed.”

Some of the money would also go for safety upgrades and assessing the septic system.

Work on all the buildings could start this summer. First though, Anchorage voters have to approve the proposition.

The Municipality of Anchorage estimates the measure would cost property owners an extra 25 cents for every $100,000 of assessed property value.

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